Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Take a look at Dick Eastman's GenQueries site

Dick Eastman has created a free genealogy queries and advertisement web site at www.GenQueries.com. See Dick's announcement here. Why did he do this? His post says:

"For years, genealogy magazines and newsletters have published queries for their readers. These serve as public notices of 'I am looking for...' Such queries have always been valuable but suffer from several shortcomings:"

He then lists several shortcomings, and notes that few genealogy periodicals are publishing queries any longer. So this system will essentially replace what has been lost with the demise of Everton's Genealogical Helper magazine, with the benefit that it is online, searchable, and readable in an RSS feed.

There are categories for the USA, Canada, the UK, Europe, Australia, and several other world regions. The home page looked like this today:



The actual queries can be read in the little box in the lower left-hand corner of the screen. The query titles are listed there, and the full text can be read by clicking on the "Open this item in a new window" icon to the right of the query title. Here is the full query at the top of the list:



A reader can subscribe to an RSS feed in Google Reader, Bloglines, or another reader of your choice. However, the readers provide only the title and two or three lines of the query, which forces the reader to click again to see the full text of the query.

Is this a good thing? In the large scheme of things - yes, it probably is. Just as GenealogyWise was a good idea - it fulfills a perceived need. Only time will tell if the site thrives or dies.

Is this the most efficient way to post queries on the Internet? In my humble opinion, NO! There are two sets of genealogy message boards for specific surnames, localities (countries, states, counties), and research topics available for people to use - post queries to them, read queries from others, and search for keywords. They are:

* http://boards.rootsweb.ancestry.com

* http://genforum.genealogy.com

The thousands of boards on these two sites are easier to read than any other query system currently available, and they are much easier to search, readers can comment on them, and their content shows up in search engine results.

6 comments:

Geniaus said...

Totally agree, Randy. As you point out there are better and enough places to post queries.

geneabloggers said...

The one big advantage for me with GenQueries is the RSS feed. I spend so much time now in Google Reader that it makes sense to see queries there.

I don't believe either the rootsweb/ancestry boards or the genforum boards have RSS capabilities at this point.

Marie said...

I agree with Randy as far as another query system is concerned. I can see the advantage of RSS feed which as Geneablogger pointed out neither have. The Rootweb mailing list archives are available by RSS feed.

The part that caught my attention was the Ad section though I haven't looked into it too much yet. Reminded me of the Hire an Expert that Ancestry.com has added. Commercial activity isn't allowed on the two other message boards so this might be a good place for Genealogy Ads more so than queries?

Taneya said...

I too agree Randy. I just don't see the need to use another query system.
Thomas - Ancestry does provide RSS feeds. I'm emailing you!

Taneya said...

okay-did a blog post -- RSS feeds for Rootsweb Message Boards - http://is.gd/4Nx65

Anonymous said...

Much ado about nothing. Little to no added value to what's already available on the Web.